November 28, 2018 / 11:54 PM / 16 days ago

Bills' McDermott looking for answers at punter

FILE PHOTO: Nov 18, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (40) deflects a pass intended for Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee (16) during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills: Some things have gone right for the Bills this year. Some areas look as if they have turned the corner. One of those isn’t the punting game, head coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday. “Yeah, just... the quality of the punting this year has been an issue and remains an issue,” McDermott said. “That ties into field position. We’ve got to find an answer here.” The Bills released Colton Schmidt on Tuesday and replaced him with former Dolphins punter Matt Darr. Schmidt, released in the preseason by the Bills, was brought back after an injury to Corey Bojorquez but had a net average of just 33.8 yards. “Certainly appreciate everything Colton gave us last year and this year, but we feel like we have to continue to find better quality than what we got,” McDermott said.

Miami Dolphins: Wide receiver Isaiah Ford has struggled with injuries since he was selected in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he hopes his time finally has arrived. He was promoted from the practice squad Wednesday to replace wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who has been put on injured reserve. “I’m humbled for the opportunity,” Ford said. “I’ve been working extremely hard. It’s now trying to help this team win.” Head coach Adam Gase said Ford has earned the chance. “He’s developed very quickly coming off an injury,” Gase said. “He jumped right in there in training camp, did a lot good things in practice and really didn’t have a lot of opportunities in actual preseason games. I’d say throughout the season, he’s just kind of put his head down, grinded. He’s worked on the outside stuff as well just because basically he was trying to avoid what I did last week by bringing somebody else in to play outside. Now he’s got an opportunity.”

New England Patriots: Head coach Bill Belichick isn’t normally full of praise, but he had plenty Wednesday for running back Rex Burkhead, who is returning from an injury that has kept him out most of the season. “Rex has worked really hard, as he always does,” Belichick told reporters, adding, “He’s been very diligent and consistent with his approach to it, and I’d say as we got closer to the opportunity to bring him back to being eligible to practice and then ultimately being eligible to play, he consistently met or exceeded kind of targets or things that he needed to show or do or be able to do to move forward. So, yeah, he’s done a great job and look forward to having him back.” Burkhead suffered a neck injury in Week 3. Until then, he had gained 86 yards on the ground and caught three passes for 31 yards.

New York Jets: The team has put starting left guard James Carpenter on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, meaning he is done for the season. And with his contract expiring, his time with the Jets could be, too. Carpenter, 29, had been a stalwart for the Jets since he signed a four-year, $19.1 million contract as a free agent in 2015. He missed Sunday’s game against the Patriots after starting 58 straight for New York. He took part in every offensive play in 2017 and in 97 percent of them (3,759 of 3,874 plays) since 2015, according to the team website.

—Field Level Media

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